I'm sure you must be at least as tired of this baking marathon as I am, so I'll try to make this short and sweet. Today we made the third cupcake for the September marathon: Peanut Butter Cookie Cupcakes. I was optimistic about this recipe since I'm a huge fan of peanut butter cookies, so I set out with some enthusiasm.
The recipe was very simple, with no unusual ingredients, and before I knew it I was measuring the batter into the cupcake liners. This was another exercise in scooping and measuring - each liner was to get 3 tablespoons of batter. (I guess I'm supposed to purchase those little handled scoops in every possible size, but I just don't feel the need to do so.) I thought that the batter looked pretty tiny in the liners, but I anticipated that they would rise as the other cupcakes had. However, after about 15 minutes in the oven, they had hardly risen at all. I'm guessing that the peanut butter makes it difficult for the batter to rise... The baked cupcakes looked dwarfed in their liners, but I knew there was still frosting to come.
The icing was also quite simple - cream cheese, peanut butter, a bit of butter, and confectioner's sugar. I spread a generous amount of the frosting on each cupcake and placed them in the refrigerator to chill. Despite the generous dollop on each cupcake, I still had quite a bit of frosting left over. Once the cupcakes had chilled for a bit, I pulled them out for the final step: using a fork to make the trademark hatches typical of peanut butter cookies. I thought this was a nice touch. The cupcakes definitely looked cute and were extremely peanut butter-y (the recipe called for more than a jar of peanut butter!), but the cake part was seriously tiny and dwarfed by the frosting. For those who are true frosting-aholics, this is probably a positive, but I didn't think the cupcakes were terribly presentable. Take them out of the liners and the cake looked funny and mishapen, and the frosting about as thick as the cake itself. I would probably make these for a bunch of kids, but I don't think I would want to bake them as an example of my skills in the kitchen.
To sum up the 3-day extravaganza, I'd have to give the highest overall rating to the Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Cupcakes. They were relatively straightforward to make, and they had the best flavor and appearance. I would probably make them again.